Cultural Change And Cultural Genocide

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Before moving on to understanding the differences between cultural change and cultural genocide it is important to have an understanding of the term culture. As has already been pointed out in both preceding chapters cultural genocide has and is a highly contested concept in both the international legal sphere and the academic sphere. The importance of culture and it’s protection is evidenced in the drafting process of the UNGC which was looked at in chapter one as well as in the words of the states that were proponents of the article on cultural genocide throughout the drafting of the UNGC. Furthermore the destruction of culture has been highlighted as an indicator of potential problems in a state by not only the United Nations in various …show more content…
Even without moving into what can be described as cultural genocide it can certainly be argued that a group is destroyed already when its components, besides the physical lives of the group members, are eliminated.

As has been pointed out previously, the groups that are protected under the UNGC cannot be distinguished if there are not characteristics that make them different from surrounding peoples. Once again the works of Lemkin through the drafting of the UNGC illustrate this point. He emphasized that physical and cultural existence are one in the same insofar as an ‘attack on a group’s physical existence is also an attack on it’s cultural existence, and vice versa.’

Cultures shape the worldview people hold, the view and understanding of human rights, the reasons for protecting human rights and it also shapes one cultures fear of differing cultures. It is therefore necessary to understand what culture is and its components in order to not only reshape the concept of cultural genocide but also to provide a solid analysis of the differences between cultural genocide and cultural change.

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